As a brand, we are heavy advocates of people learning martial arts: for self-defense, sport, or fitness. Especially for women, having combat sports training is a huge advantage in any self-defense situation.
Based on the available data, statistics show that the average human male is larger than the average human female, in terms of both height and weight. This means that the “average” woman would already be at a size disadvantage if they were to be attacked by an “average” man. It would be in every woman's best interest to have some sort of martial arts training, in order to possess the much needed self-defense technique and situational experience they provide.
We have covered the topic of women starting martial arts training for self-defense in other blog posts. If you would like to learn more, the links can be found at the end of this article.
Not enough women train. One of the most common reasons women say they don’t train (yet), is because they want to get in better shape before starting. This is a valid point, but that is one of the best things about training: you get to learn martial arts techniques AND get a tough workout, in the same training session!
Combat sports training is excellent for functional fitness - fitness that focuses on conditioning the muscles we use every day. For example, doing push-ups and squats are great for functional movements, as they train your body to be strong and mobile for daily tasks such as bending down to pick something up. When defending against attacks in the gym with training partners, you develop incredible functional strength that will benefit you in daily life and if you ever need to defend yourself from harm. Controlling not only your bodyweight, but the bodyweight from another person who is actively resisting is one of the BEST ways to build and maintain functional strength and endurance.
However, we understand that it may be intimidating to start training if you feel out of shape. We also want more women to start training. For any woman looking to get in better shape, we’ve put together a list of some at-home exercises you can do to maintain your fitness and start your training as soon as possible!
Walking is a great way to get some low-intensity exercise in, lose stubborn belly fat, and burn calories. Walking routines can be used for active recovery, weight loss, and even mental clarity. If you want to stay active and mobile, consider walking around your neighborhood for a set amount of time or distance.
If you enjoy walking, but want to challenge yourself, learn more about rucking. Rucking is basically just walking with weight. Military forces across the world ruck for functional fitness, as soldiers often will carry heavy equipment on missions. Rucking prepares their body to deal with these heavy weights, as their jobs require them to walk, hike, and run whilst carrying this gear. Over time, their bodies become more efficient at carrying these heavy rucksacks, which shows the progress they make in strength, speed, and endurance. We’ve linked more in-depth information about rucking at the end of this article.
Running is a full body workout. It works the muscles in your legs, arms, core and is amazing in terms of cardiovascular conditioning. There are two types of running that you can do: long distance and short distance. Long distance running will build up your endurance and allow you to maintain your output for extended periods of time. Short distance running, or sprints, will allow you to be more powerful and explosive in your movements. Both types of running will help you develop really great endurance as well as mental fortitude, which will help you to always keep moving forward when things get tough (either when you run or when you face life challenges).
Bodyweight exercises are convenient if you don't have a lot of fitness equipment, weights, or space to workout. All you need is yourself. Gravity will do the rest. These exercises help you to control the weight of your own body, which can be extremely helpful if you are just starting out and want to focus on your form. For the most part, you can do these exercises in the same place you start them from, which is why not as much space will be required. Here are some of the best exercises you can do, to give you a full body workout that requires NO equipment:
Push-up position holds
ATG split squats
Cardio (either over distance or in place)
Exercises with equipment
The difficulty of bodyweight exercises can be increased by adding weight. For example, you can take lower body exercises like squats and lunges and do them while carrying dumbbells or kettlebells. Find creative ways to add weight to the previously mentioned list of bodyweight exercises or implement the following exercises that require equipment to push yourself during your workouts:
Exercises with dumbbells and kettlebells
Clean and press
Single Leg RDL
Here are some other effective exercises/equipment that can help you get in better shape:
Skipping rope (jump rope)
Medicine ball slams
These are some very effective exercises that you can add to your at-home fitness plan. As you progress in your fitness journey, you can make your workouts more difficult by increasing one or more of the following factors: duration, distance, weight, number of reps/sets. There are so many different types of exercises and movements that exist, so keep exploring and adapt your routine to what works best for you. We’ve also linked some fitness channels who demonstrate how to do certain exercises.
Remember, it’s okay to not see immediate success if you are just starting out. Anyone who was ever great in anything was once a beginner. Progress takes time and consistent hard work. Ladies, keep at it and you will see results.
About rucking: https://www.goruck.com/pages/what-is-rucking
Thank you for reading - we hope this article is a good starting point for your fitness journey! Looking forward to seeing you at training soon!